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Letters to the editor

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 12:01 am

Steve Jobs, the 'didn't build that' straw man

Hank Achor attempted to support or confirm how President Obama is right with respect to “you didn’t build that.” Achor suggests that the arguments to Obama’s statements show nothing beyond conservative media blowhards’ desire to show that President Obama wants to destroy Mom, flag and apple pie. Achor fails to present anything resembling a logical argument.

Achor targeted Steve Jobs (Apple Computers) as the straw man for his President Obama apology, suggesting Jobs didn’t build that, presumably meaning Jobs didn’t build their elegant user interface. Achor seems to argue that if Jobs did build it, Jobs is indebted, among others, to the CATV industry, to the U.S. government, H.P. and Intel (ignoring that Apple’s early computers were Motorola-based, not Intel).

Perhaps President Obama and Achor are suggesting that Jobs should have better manners and should openly thank his predecessors for their contributions to Jobs’ success? Nah, you’re right — Jobs’ bad manners weren’t President Obama’s or Achor’s point.

I suspect President Obama’s and Achor’s point was not hypothetical. Given the leap to Jobs paying more taxes, I suspect the point is that Jobs really “owes” something to H.P., Intel or to the U.S. because of the national investment in NASA. If that’s President Obama’s or Achor’s point, it, too, presents real problems for them.

President Obama’s idea that you didn’t build that is especially rich coming from someone who has never generated anything but through the sovereign’s side of our economy (yes, his teaching falls into that category).

Finally, Achor awkwardly leaps from Jobs’ debt to the notion that Jobs should pay more taxes. Perhaps all of us should be paying more taxes if we want so much government spending, but Achor’s conclusion doesn’t follow from his arguments that Jobs “didn’t build that,” and his and President Obama’s points are largely silly irrelevancies unless President Obama and Achor wish to challenge western civilization’s very notions of a sovereign.

Getting a sovereign off the ground takes some heavy lifting, well beyond a letter to the editor. But, the basic notion that a sovereign has any authority at all is found in two general camps: 1. the older idea was that the sovereign’s power came from a divine or natural right(s); 2. the more recent idea (say, since the age of enlightenment) is that the sovereign’s power is derived from and limited to only those powers conveyed to the sovereign from the people.

Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and others thought they had limited the sovereign’s powers through our Constitution. Thanks to lawyers and judges, there’s scarcely a real limit left. Maybe President Obama and Achor should themselves re-think the debt they owe to their predecessors as it appears Jobs fully appreciated the technology that preceded his corporation.

Brian Tracey

Remembering 9/11

I was in Hagadera, Dadaab, refugee camp, in northeastern Kenya when the 9/11 attack happened. I was staring at a television screen showing Al Jazeera reports showing on the 9/11, and then suddenly I felt as if I was shattered into pieces.

September 11 marks a historic day. A day to remember all those people who died. I believe is a nightmarish day not just for America but the world at large.

As humans we have hearts, and must feel the pain any nation, any country might feel. I am saddened whenever I remember the horror of 9/11. I am hoping to visit the 9/11 memorial place sometime.

The world needs to join hands and say no more. It needs to stand together and fight against injustice acts.

Yahya Salah Moburuk

Women's rights

You demand that it’s your right to choose not to carry a pregnancy you didn’t plan or want, or a defective fetus.

The next destructive step in dumbing down our moral decline will cover the handicapped, those living in a vegetative state whom you will deem useless, and the aged parent who is a burden. Electrocuting the criminal might be killing.

God help us when you achieve the society you’re demanding.

Sylvia Christian